Four-day school week up for vote

By William Thompson

The Tucumcari schools board of education will meet at noon Tuesday to vote on a four-day school week. Superintendent William Reents said by the end of that meeting the school district should know if it will be going to a four-day week this school year.
“I don’t know how the board will vote,” Reents said. “I will wait and let them make their decision at the meeting. I will wait on the sidelines and see what happens.”
Reents said he is interested in the welfare of students — whether the school district keeps a five-day week or moves to a four-day week.
“The primary reason for a four-day week is we want to put more academic time and academic culture back into the schools,” he said. “ While it’s true we would save some money with a four-day week, we’re not talking about a lot of money saved.”
The school district sent out about 700 surveys to parents and teachers earlier this year. About 280 surveys came back, and Reents said 80 percent of those who returned surveys indicated support for a four-day week.
About 35 parents and teachers attended a public forum earlier this week and only four present indicated disapproval of a four-day week.
School board member Albert Mitchell said at a board meeting earlier this year that if the four-day week was considered to be beneficial then the board should move “immediately” to institute a four-day week.
Alternatively, board member Marty Garcia has expressed reservations about a four-day week at recent board meetings. Garcia likened embarking on a four-day week to driving a bus and not knowing where the bus was heading.
Board member A.J. Williams said Friday she knows how she is going to vote but said she won’t disclose that decision until Tuesday’s meeting.
Two other board members, Rex Kirksey and Doug Powers could not be reached for comment on Friday.